The Dutch authorities said they were investigating a “suspicious incident” on a plane at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on Wednesday, but an airline later said it was a false alarm.
The airport said on Twitter that the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, a branch of the Dutch military, was “investigating a situation on board” an unidentified plane. The federal police declined to provide details about why they were called to the airport, saying only that several gates were closed off.
“The only thing I can tell you is that the military police is investigating a suspicious situation,” Hans Van Kastel, an airport spokesman, said in an interview. Mr. Van Kastel said the situation began about 7 p.m. local time.
About an hour and a half later, the military police said on Twitter that the passengers and crew of the plane were safe but that the investigation was continuing. The airline Air Europa then said it was a false alarm on a flight from Amsterdam to Madrid.
The alarm was activated by accident, the airline said. “Nothing has happened, all the passengers were found perfectly, waiting to be able to fly soon. We apologize.”
While early reports were comin in, Mark Rutte, the country’s prime minister did not alter his schedule, but monitored the situation from afar. “Something is going on, we are finding out what is going on,” he told reporters. “I hope it ends well.”
Images on social media showed sections of the airport closed off, with armed officers standing nearby and crowds of passengers waiting.
Ewan MacIntosh arrived on a KLM flight from Hamburg, Germany, to a chaotic scene on the tarmac, as emergency responders swarmed one area and idling planes accumulated in others, he said in an online message.
“Pilot saying things are fairly chaotic — there’s no ground staff at all at this pier to help,” Mr. MacIntosh said. He said the pilot told passengers “there are lots of fire brigade, police and ambulances near the Pier D.”
Mr. MacIntosh said his plane sat on the tarmac for 20 minutes while air traffic controllers found a place to put them. He said Terminal D looked “pretty closed off and empty.”
“Lots of arriving flights needing to put somewhere,” he said. “No idea what new arrivals will do.”
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